In 2020, Netflix premiered one of the most dramatic films on its platform. Is about Fragments of a Woman, directed by Kornél Mundruczó from a play they performed with his wife, Kata Weber, focused on the loss of a child during childbirth. Starring Shia LaBeouf and Vanessa Kirby, the plot arose from the real experience that the director and his wife went through, who lost a son.
With a drama that intensified flat by shot and a job that earned him Kirby his first nomination for a Oscar, the film was widely commented for its theme. One of the most striking points of the plot went through the symbolism, especially the use of apples. Towards the end of the story, this fruit plays a central role in what could be a rather dreamlike passage, compared to the rest of the footage.
The cinematographer, Benjamin loeb, explained that the idea of apples was central to Mundruczó. In fact, despite the number of sequences in which the fruit is seen or mentioned, the final cut eliminated other scenes that did not work or made the story too long. “Kornél Mundruczó I had thought and written this as a melodrama, I wanted it to have metaphors, icons “, he counted Loeb.
“This idea that the only thing Martha remember is that her daughter’s head smelled of apple, I think many people see it as a great cliché, as something very intense, but it is something that, if you were with babies or had a baby, you know that the smell of the head of his head is something you never forget “, assured the director of photography. As explained, Mundruczó “I wanted to metaphor this as something that helps her get through her process”. After revealing that several sequences with apples were removed from Fragments of a woman, he assured: “I think we ended up with the correct balance of this. It’s a very explicit way of saying something “.
Manchester by the sea, another story of loss
In a tonic similar to that of Fragments of a woman it’s found Manchester by the sea, which was worth the Oscar to its protagonist, Casey Affleck. The story tells the life of Lee Chandler, a very depressed man who has to take care of his nephew when his brother loses his life. This change will make him face one of the greatest tragedies that he had to live, which ended with his marriage destroyed.
The film also earned him a statuette for Best Original Screenplay by The academy a Kenneth Lonergan. Currently available in the catalog of Paramount+, the film features performances by Michelle Williams, Lucas Hedges and Kyle Chandler.